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GE joins consortium testing eucalypt trees for aviation bio-jet

General Electric (GE) is the newest member of a consortium set up to research and develop biomass-based aviation fuel.

In addition to GE, the association consists of Virgin Australia, Renewable Oil, the Future Farm Industries CRC and Dynamotive Energy Systems, of Canada. Together the companies are looking to mallee eucalypt trees as a feedstock for producing commercial quantities of bio-jet fuel.

In Australia, the consortium is planning to build a pilot-scale biofuel production facility that will be operational by 2012.

GE is already dedicated to biomass derived jet fuel, with a heavy focus on the development of fuel-efficient jet engines.

As Ben Waters, of GE Australia and New Zealand, says: 'Innovation and creativity will play enormous roles as part of the transition to a low carbon future. We already invest a huge amount in the development of more efficient and alternative energy sources in the aviation industry and beyond.'

In addition to helping to develop the fuel, GE will also play a role in certifying it. This involves testing and approving it prior to commercial use.